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Professor Nugzar Todua made a presentation, Perceptions of Georgian Customer Loyalty towards Foreign Brands, on April 3-4, 2014 at the 19th Corporate and Marketing Communications Conference held at the Catholic University of Milan, Italy. Professor Todua and Charity Jash, Associate Professor, carried out joint research at the TSU Faculty of Economics and Business.  The main theme of the conference in Milan was “Communication through dialogue, mutual understanding without control”.

Professor Philip Kitchen of Hull University, Chair of the Strategic Marketing Department, Chief Editor of Marketing Communications chaired the conference.  Researchers in marketing, advertising and marketing communications from 50 universities of the world took part in the conference.

According to the authors of the research, in a global competitive environment the high quality of a product or service is not enough for consumers. It is essential to establish the type of values that appeal to target customers. Frequently this implies influencing customers’ perception, motivation and behaviour through modern marketing technologies and programs. Companies operating on the market study customers prior to making a product, investing time and money to learn the dynamics of consumers’ behaviour and defining how they will react to various stimulating offers. According to consumers’ cultural values, interests and lifestyles that are reflected, their demands vary greatly on the global market. The aim of a marketing strategy is to enable companies to evaluate their status realistically, and continually offer products on the global market. When companies try to maintain their competitiveness in a global environment, it is vital for them to consider the diversity of the cultural environment, the characteristics, prospects and risks of local and international businesses.

The leaps in information technology have made it much easier to ensure smoother communications between companies. Social media marketing revolutionaized the global market, and modern social networks have strengthened the consumers’ position in the business field. Developed countries have taken huge steps in consumer studies, however this is not so in developing countries.


Pic.: TSU Professor Nugzar Todua and TSU Associate Professor Charita Jashi together with   Professor Philip Kitchen during the 19th International Corporate and Marketing Communications Conference at Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore (Catholic University of the Sacred Heart) in Milan.


The diffusion of innovative products contributes to the strengthening of international customer loyalty and intensive consumption of a product. Studies show that companies operating on the global market try various strategies to encourage consumers by showing them how significantly their support i.e. their loyalty, contributes to the company’s overall success. Consumer research shapes successful marketing strategy on the global market, and integrated marketing communications is especially important for increased customer satisfaction and brand loyalty. This idea is reinforced by the works of experts in the marketing field such as Philip Kotler, K.L. Keller, Philip J. Kitchen, Kusik, Schmidt and others.

Most studies find that a strong emphasis should be put on customer relationship management.


Companies should care about establishing and maintaining long-term relationships with their customers and should view loyalty as the main approach to business strategy. Even though it is possible to gain loyalty, keeping it is more challenging. Georgian companies should understand these issues.

The Georgian consumer market is characterized by interesting trends. Georgian consumers’ marketing awareness is gradually increasing while their purchasing ability is still very low.  This is reflected by consumer behaviour, yet there are no studies on Georgian consumer loyalty trends, which creates significant problems. To this end, the TSU Marketing Department made substantial studies to explore consumers’ engagement levels, influencing factors at the time of purchase and how their brand loyalty is communicated.

The study emphasised four factors that influence Georgian consumers’ buying decision: brand recognition, perceived quality, brand association and brand loyalty. According to the findings, the most important among strong brand characteristics were quality, communicational strategy, sales promotion, specific prices and additional services. For most Georgian consumers, the country of origin is the most important quality indicator. Research shows that low brand loyalty and low purchasing ability stem from the inconsistent and ineffective functioning of marketing communication instruments, which discourages customers from buying.

As a result of this marketing research, the research team succeeded in identifying the specifics of Georgian consumer brand loyalty, which is characterized by loyal behaviour that is higher than average.  They tend to have a favourite brand, yet are enthusiastic about new brands. The research showed which product details and services are central to Georgian consumers, how they react on a company’s loyalty promotions, whose opinion they consider when purchasing an item, how their loyalty is expressed, the level of their engagement on the market, how information is obtained and how they make a decision to purchase. Georgian companies and foreign brands considering the Georgian market will find the research results very useful.